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Waiting Countdown

By Elizabeth ButlerPublished about a month ago 2 min read
Top Story - April 2024

11.59. Even though the glass had shattered, Lorna could still see that her watch ticked over. One minute until midnight. Her watch was the only thing she had that she could carry. The only thing to remember her parents by. A birthday present from last year, the year she turned seventeen.

Lorna hoped that this time, the time wouldn’t be unreliable, ever since the glass had smashed, the little neon lights that used to flash regularly, had stopped, she had no idea whether the time on her watch was correct, but this was the only way Lorna could know the time.

The storm raged on, while she hid under a rusty car. Muddy and exhausted, she had had just enough of it all. Her companion sat silently in the corner. The disturbing tone made them both feel uneasy. Nobody was around to guide or talk to them. His soft, but mangy hair brought a little comfort in the storm. Lorna lay her head upon him as he whimpered in fear.

Perhaps they were the only living things left, who really knew, when all Lorna could see was the ground, the puddles that had been left from the rain.

Fifty seconds, ten seconds had come and gone. Sammy lay upon her lap, while she rested her back upon the inside of the vehicle. She glanced at the collar around his bulging neck. It read;

“SAMMY, A good dog, please take care of if found”.

There was no point adding an address or a name, not currently. People never stuck around in one place for long enough. No, if Sammy had gone missing, god forbid, a possibility Lorna rarely wanted to think about, but if he did find himself alone, all she wanted for him, was to find comfort in a new owner that cared for him as their own.

Thirty seconds, give or take. This time a few weeks ago seemed a lifetime away. Summer, carefree days, lying around, rolling down grassy hills. She wouldn’t be able to touch or smell the grass again. Lorna had no excuse when it came to her broken watch. Even when it was readily available, she couldn’t be bothered. Now, as she stared back at the cracked pieces, she sighed to herself.

Twenty seconds, give or take. Sammy was always by her side. From the moment she was born to now. Better than a best friend, a friend who listened instead of talked over the top of you, a friend with the waggiest tail in the whole world. A companion who would do anything for her.

Ten seconds. Lorna was certain. One final look at her best friend, his eyes popping and then one deep breath in, squeezing him to her, his collar tight round his neck, he whimpered, bowing his head under her arm.

12:00. Midnight came rolling in. The earth rumbled around them, then nothing. Lorna holds onto Sammy tightly; she could feel her fists getting tighter and tighter and could feel Sammy trembling. Perhaps they were wrong about it. Perhaps everything was a hoax, a calculation mixed up?

Boom. The ground erupted underneath them, the rusted car toppled into the air. No, this was it. This was what had been predicted.

The watch was in fact unreliable.

PsychologicalShort StorySci FiMicrofiction

About the Creator

Elizabeth Butler

Elizabeth Butler has a masters in Creative Writing University .She has published anthology, Turning the Tide was a collaboration. She has published a short children's story and published a book of poetry through Bookleaf Publishing.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (8)

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  • Christy Munson3 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Anna 29 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!🥳🥳🥳

  • Flamance @ lit.about a month ago

    Interesting story

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    I forgot to say Congrats on TS.

  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    OMG what a great ending! The (sarcastic?) in-the-moment unbelievable statement is so fitting. I loved your story.

  • D. D. Leeabout a month ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    Such a terrifying experience storms, earthquakes, tornados, and nature's fury unleashed. Count every good day a blessing.

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